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Oklahoma company pays thousands after overtime, child labor violations found

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OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma-based oil service waste disposal company has paid thousands in back wages and penalties after an investigation by the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

On Thursday, officials announced that Backyard Energy Services has paid $253,399 in back wages and $2,163 in civil penalties to resolve violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime, child labor and record keeping requirements.

Authorities allege that Backyard Energy Services violated federal overtime law when it misclassified employees as independent contractors and paid them flat daily rates without regard to the number of hours they worked. Therefore, the company didn’t pay them overtime even though they worked more than 40 hours in a week.

Investigators also found that the company erroneously classified intrastate drivers as exempt from FLSA-overtime requirements, and paid them flat salaries without consideration for overtime pay.

“Employers have a legal responsibility to pay their employees for all of the hours that they work, including overtime hours,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Michael Speer, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. “By enforcing the FLSA, the U.S. Department of Labor helps to level the playing field for all employers and ensure workers get the wages and employment protections they are due.”

Officials say the company also allegedly violated child labor laws when it employed a 17-year-old to operate a front-end loader and track hoe.

 

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